Grand Prix Hong Kong 2013

Shuhei Nakamura is your Grand Prix: Hong Kong champion! Tied a win each against Martin Juza, the deciding game involved a 7/6 Agent of Horizons providing the finishing touches to an otherwise stalled board. This victory marks his 6th Grand Prix title, which means he is now tied for second (with Yuuya Watanbe).

Rounding out the top 8 were Martin Juza (now on his 18th Top 8), Ken Yukuhiro, Yuuta Takahashi, Ng Soon Lye, Denny Dunsford, Lu Xiaoshi and Lei Yu Sheng.

Congratulations to Shuhei Nakamura, Champion of Grand Prix Hong Kong!

Top 8 bracket

Quaterfinals

(1) Yuuta Takahashi

(8) Soon Lye Ng

(4) Lei Yu Sheng

(5) Shuhei Nakamura

(2) Ken Yukuhiro

(7) Denny R Dunsford

(3) Martin Juza

(6) Xiaoshi Lu

Semi-finals

Yuuta Takahashi, 2-0

Shuhei Nakamura, 2-0

Ken Yukuhiro, 2-1

Martin Juza, 2-1

Finals

Shuhei Nakamura, 2-0

Martin Juza, 2-0

Champion

Shuhei Nakamura, 2-1



EVENT COVERAGE

  • by Chapman Sim & Noel Neo
    Finals
    Shuhei Nakamura vs. Martin Juza
  • by Noel Neo
    Semifinals
    Shuhei Nakamura vs. Ken Yukuhiro
  • by Chapman Sim
    Semifinals
    Martin Juza vs. Yuuta Takahashi
  • by Noel Neo
    Quarterfinals
    Ken Yukuhiro vs. Denny Dunsford
  • by Chapman Sim
    Quarterfinals
    Ng Soon Lye vs. Yuuta Yakahashi
  • by Chapman Sim
    Quarterfinals
    Martin Juza vs. Lu Xiaoshi
  • by Noel Neo
    Quarterfinals
    Shuhei Nakamura vs. Lei Yu Sheng
  • by Chapman Sim & Noel Neo
    Top 8
    Profiles
  • by Chapman Sim
    Top 8
    Decklists
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Day 2 Blog
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Day 1 Blog
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info: Fact Sheet

INFORMATION

1. Shuuhei Nakamura $3,500
2. Martin Juza $2,300
3. Ken Yukuhiro $1,500
4. Yuuta Takahashi $1,500
5. Xiaoshi Lu $1,000
6. Lei Yu Sheng $1,000
7. Denny R Dunsford $1,000
8. Soon Lye Ng $1,000

pairings, results, standings

Pairings

15 14 13 12 11 10

9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Results

15 14 13 12 11 10

9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Standings

15 14 13 12 11 10

9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Top 8 Decklists

by Chapman Sim

Martin Juza

Lu Xiaoshi

Denny Dunsford

Ng Soon Lye

Ken Yukuhiro

Shuhei Nakamura

Lei Yusheng

Yuuta Takahashi

Top 8 Player profiles

Name: Yuuta Takahashi
Age: 27
Hometown: Tokyo, Japan
Occupation: Ace Takahashi (Hareruya)
Score for Sealed Portion: 8-1 (3 byes)
Colors for Sealed Portion: Green White
Score for Draft 1: 3-0
Colors for Draft 1: Blue Green
Score for Draft 2: 1-1-1
Colors for Draft 2: Blue Green
Pro Tour Top 8s: 1
Grand Prix Top 8s(not counting this one: 5
Other Achievements:
What is the your memorable moment of this tournament? Annul counters many rares.
If you could choose a creature from Theros to be your pet, what would it be: Opaline Unicorn

Name: Lei Yusheng
Age: 30
Hometown: Shanghai
Occupation: QA Engineer
Score for Sealed Portion: 8-1
Colors for Sealed Portion: Black Red
Score for Draft 1: 2-1
Colors for Draft 1: Blue White
Score for Draft 2: 3-0
Colors for Draft 2: Green Blue
Pro Tour Top 8s: 0
Grand Prix Top 8 (not counting this one): 0
Other Achievements:2011 National Top 8
What is the your memorable moment of this tournament? Playing against Lei Qiang (my cousin) for Top 8
If you could choose a creature from Theros to be your pet, what would it be:  Mnemonic Wall =)

Name: Ng Soon Lye
Age: 33
Hometown: Singapore
Occupation: Sales Engineer
Score for Sealed Portion: 9-0
Colors for Sealed Portion: Blue Black
Score for Draft 1: 2-1
Colors for Draft 1: Black Green
Score for Draft 2: 1-1-1 
Colors for Draft 2: Red Blue
Pro Tour Top 8s: 0
Grand Prix Top 8s(not counting this one): 0
Other Achievements:2nd in Hong Kong Open ages ago
What is the your memorable moment of this tournament? Making my first Grand Prix Top 8
If you could choose a creature from Theros to be your pet, what would it be: Polukranos, World Eater

Name: Xiaoshi Lu
Age: 30
Hometown: Beijing
Occupation: Programmer
Score for Sealed Portion: 8-1
Colors for Sealed Portion: Red Green
Score for Draft 1: 3-0
Colors for Draft 1: Red White
Score for Draft 2: 2-0-1
Colors for Draft 2: Red White
Pro Tour Top 8s: 0
Grand Prix Top 8s(not counting this one): 0
Other Achievements
What is the your memorable moment of this tournament? Top decking Boon Satyr for the win in round 9
If you could choose a creature from Theros to be your pet, what would it be:  Polukranos, World Eater

Name: Yukuhiro, Ken
Age: 24
Hometown: Wakayamaken, Japan
Occupation: Manasource Cardshop
Score for Sealed Portion: 8-1 (3 byes) 
Colors for Sealed Portion: Blue Green
Score for Draft 1: 2-1
Colors for Draft 1: Red Green
Score for Draft 2:  2-0-1
Colors for Draft 2: Red Black
Pro Tour Top 8s: 1
Grand Prix Top 8s(not counting this one): 5
Other Achievements: 
What is the your memorable moment of this tournament? 
If you could choose a creature from Theros to be your pet, what would it be:  Bronze Sable

Name: Shuhei Nakamura
Age: 32
Hometown: Dublin (last week)
Occupation: Doomed Traveler
Score for Sealed Portion: 8-1
Colors for Sealed Portion: Blue White
Score for Draft 1: 3-0
Colors for Draft 1: White Green
Score for Draft 2: 1-0-2
Colors for Draft 2: White Black
Pro Tour Top 8s: 5
Grand Prix Top 8s(not counting this one): less than 30 (actually this is his 23rd!)
Other Achievements:Ask someone else.
What is the your memorable moment of this tournament? I had Fabled Hero in my Sealed Deck, Draft 1 and Draft 2!
If you could choose a creature from Theros to be your pet, what would it be:  Cat... Oops... Lion is too Dangerous... Maybe a Fox. (Soo... Vulpine Goliath?) 

Name: Denny Dunsford
Age: 28
Hometown: Singapore
Occupation: Analyst
Score for Sealed Portion: 7-2
Colors for Sealed Portion: Red White
Score for Draft 1: 3-0
Colors for Draft 1: Red Green
Score for Draft 2: 3-0
Colors for Draft 2: White Green
Pro Tour Top 8s: 0
Grand Prix Top 8s(not counting this one): 0
Other Achievements:Top 32 Grand Prix Singapore 2013
What is the your memorable moment of this tournament? Peeling a life gain spell to win the 6-2 bubble match.
If you could choose a creature from Theros to be your pet, what would it be:  Voyaging Satyr. So I can ride (with) it.

Name: Martin Juza
Age: 26
Hometown: Plzeň, Czech Republic
Occupation: Professional Tourist
Score for Sealed Portion: 8-1
Colors for Sealed Portion: Blue Green (sideboarding into Green White because I built the deck wrong)
Score for Draft 1: 3-0
Colors for Draft 1: Blue Black
Score for Draft 2: 1-0-2
Colors for Draft 2: Blue White
Pro Tour Top 8s: 2
Grand Prix Top 8s(not counting this one): 17
Other Achievements:3 times National Champion
What is the your memorable moment of this tournament? Topdecking a lethal Gray Merchant of Asphodel on the last possible turn was pretty sweet!
If you could choose a creature from Theros to be your pet, what would it be : Not technically a creature, but I'd like Elspeth, Sun's Champion.

Quarterfinals - Shuhei Nakamura vs. Lei Yu Sheng

by Noel Neo

Lei Yusheng is hoping his Mono-Red Sligh deck would be able to claim the win before Shuhei's Blue Green deck progresses out of range.

Shuhei Nakamura

Yusheng started strong with Bronze Sable, Akroan Crusader and a pair of Minotaur Skullcleavers to bring Shuhei down to 10 life before the board begun to stabilise as Sedge Scorpion, Guardians of Meletis with Feral Invocation, Coastline Chimera and Pheres-Band Centaurs made their presence felt.

Shuhei soon added Prescient Chimera and Wavecrash Triton to his board and his flyers begun to work on Yusheng's life total. Yusheng attempted one final alpha strike with Portent of Betrayal stealing the Triton and Coordinated Assault targeting the merfolk to trigger the creature tap but could only manage to deal four more damage before Shuhei's larger creatures closed the game.

Lei Yu Sheng

Yusheng started game two on the backfoot having to take a mulligan, but still managed to deal 14 damage over the course of the game.

Shuhei took damage early from Satyr Rambler and Minotaur Skullcleaver, with the first sign of the shift in momentum occurring when Crackling Triton blocked Firedrinker Satyr with Feral Invocation flashed in. Successive Pheres-Band Centaurs, Coastline Chimera, Agent of Horizons and Voyaging Satyr helped him take the game and match where all Yusheng could manage was Borderland Minotaur.

Shuhei wins 2-0 and progresses to the Semi-finals.

Quarterfinals - Martin Juza vs. Lu Xiaoshi

by Chapman Sim

Game One

Lu Xiaoshi

Game one took about as much time as shuffling did. Juza led with Tormented Hero and Scourgemark, but it was halted in its tracks by Lu's Deathbellow Raider and Anax and Cymede. Juz had no removal spell for the 3/2 and he was quickly overran by Purphoros's Emissary before being killed by Portent of Betrayal.

Martin Juza 0 – Lu Xiaoshi 1

Game Two


Juza opened with double Tormented Hero and Blood-Toll Harpy but Lu was ready to defend with Priest of Iroas and Anax and Cymede.

Anax and Cymede

Erebos's Emissary was Juza's solution to the legendary soldier, but he seemed visibly dismayed to run into it once again. Lu pushed Purphuros's Emissary in the opposing Erebos's Emissary's way, prompting Juza to discard Felhide Minotaur.

Lu rearmed with Arena Athlete and a very scary Cavalry Pegasus, which had the ability to grant his entire team flying. Wingsteed Rider from Lu made things much worse but Juza wasn't finished yet. A second Blood-Toll Harpy joined the board and threatened to kill within the next two turns. The dealbreaker was Divine Verdict on Anax and Cymede, which prompted the concession.

Martin Juza 1 – Lu Xiaoshi 1

Game Three

Martin Juza

Juza once again led with Tormented Hero, Blood-Toll Harpy and Felhide Minotaur, while Lu tried to defend with Lagonna-Band Elders (enchanted with Chosen by Heliod) and Hundred-Handed One.

Unable to penetrate the defenses on land, Juza added Insatiable Harpy to the board and took to the skies, while defending with Keepsake Gorgon. That seemed like a great strategy but none was more effective than keeping your opponent off his second color. Lu was very unfortunately stuck on four Plains, holding a fistful of red cards he could not utilize.

He cycled through his deck, casting two Chosen by Heliods on his dudes, and then dropping Ordeal of Heliod on Setessan Battle Priest, just so he could gain two life. When a 7th land appeared for Juza, he activated Keepsake Gorgon to kill Hundred-Handed One before attacking with all his creatures. Lu had to block now and was forced to go down to one but Juza had Divine Verdict to target Tormented Hero, ending the game there and then.

Tormented HeroSometimes killing your own Tormented Hero can win you the match too!

Martin Juza 2 – Lu Xiaoshi 1

Lei Yu Sheng defeats his cousin Lei Qiang to advance to the Top 8!

Quarterfinals - Ng Soon Lye vs. Yuuta Takahashi

by Chapman Sim

Game One

A seasoned Singaporean player in his very first Grand Prix Top 8.

Takahashi opened with Voyaging Satyr into Chronicler of Heroes and proceeded to gift his opponent with Akroan Horse. Ng was not about to go down without a fight, and took to the skies with Nimbus Naiad enchanted with Ordeal of Thassa, while defending with Crackling Triton.

The haymaker came on the next turn when Takahashi summoned Phalanx Leader and cast Chosen by Heliod on it, granting +1/+1 counters to all his creatures, including a freshly created Soldier token. Takahashi followed up that play with Time to Feed, targeting Phalanx Leader once more to shoot down the Numbus Naiad.

Horizon Scholar did little to impede the wave of attackers and Ng scooped up his cards.

Akroan Horse

Receiving a horse is not a good thing, as the Trojans would tell you.

Ng Soon Lye 0 – Yuuta Takahashi 1

Game Two

Yuuta Takahashi's fast draw threatens to end the game fast.

Ng led with Omenspeaker and Charlie, the Opaline Unicorn but Takahashi's draw seemed to be equally fast. After Voyaging Satyrs on consecutive turns, he was able to power out a turn 4 Vulpine Goliath and turn 5 Anthousa, Setessan Hero.

Ordeal of Nylea met with Annul but that seemed very inconsequential compared to the Hopeful Eidolon which Takashi would bestow upon the hero. That allowed Takahashi to attack with three of his untapped lands, threatening lethal damage along with the gigantic fox.

Vulpine GoliathWhat does the fox say?

Ng had no choice but to double block the Hero with Nylea's Disciple and Breaching Hippocamp, while trying to find a solution for Vulpine Goliath. Despite drawing two cards from Fate Foretold, Ng was unable to find it and could only extend his hand in gracious defeat.

Ng Soon Lye 0 – Yuuta Takahashi 2

Yuuta Takahashi defeats Ng Soon Lye and advances to the Top 4.

Quarterfinals - Ken Yukuhiro vs. Denny Dunsford

by Noel Neo

Both players are playing multiple colours to splash for bomb rares and removal. Denny is base Green Black while Ken is base White Black.

The early game involved some early skirmish between Denny's Sedge Scorpion, Erebos's Emissary, Nessian Courser and Returned Centaur against Ken's Returned Phalanx, Observant Alseid, Baleful Eidolon and Gray Merchant of Asphodel. However, given the prevalence of deathtouch creatures and defenders, the amount of action was limited.

The real plays begun with Ken's Hythonia the Cruel trading with Time to Feed and Sedge Scorpion. Ken barely blinked as he summoned Hundred-Handed One which met Sip of Hemlock, then Fleecemane Lion which met Lash of the Whip.

Ken Yukuhiro

The flow then moved between the players as:

Denny bestowed Leafmane Dryad on Returned Centaur

Ken summoned his second Hundred-Handed One and had Baleful Eidolon fight Erebos's Emissary with Time to Feed

The Giant become monstrous while Denny brought out his own guns in a 9/9 Mistcutter Hydra

Denny held the edge for only a very short moment, however, as Ken soon found his Sip of Hemlock and summoned his own 9/9 Mistcutter Hydra to close out the game.

Denny Dunsford

Denny went the beatdown plan in the second game with an early Boon Satyr on Felhide Minotaur. A crucial Lash of the Whip during combat kept Ken on the back foot and ensured the Minotaur and his supporting cast went the distance.

Denny equalises the games at one a piece.

In the third and final game, Denny hit a patch of lands. He applied early pressure with Mogis's Marauder and a 4/4 Mistcutter Hydra that Ken was able to immediately take out with Burnished Hart and Boon of Erebos.

From there, Ken took over by sacrificing the Hart for the two mana acceleration to power out a 7/7 Mistcutter Hydra and monstrous Fleecemane Lion to win the game and match.

Yukuhiro, Ken wins 2-1 and moves to the Semi-Finals.

Semifinals - Martin Juza vs. Yuuta Takahashi

by Chapman Sim

Game One

Martin Juza quickly claims game one after a gambit by his opponent went wrong. Takahashi mulled over his opening hand and decided to keep a one-lander but failed to draw his second for three turns. That caused him to be on the receiving end of a quick beatdown in the form of Blood-Toll Harpy and Erebos's Emissary.

Blood-Toll Harpy
Erebos's Emissary

Well, by the time he drew his second land, he was down to just five life and there was little he could do to recover from the missed land drops once Juza suited up one of his creatures with Observant Alseid.

Martin Juza 1 – Yuuta Takahashi 0

Game Two

Yuuta Takahashi was plagued with mana problems once again and he quickly lost to Juza's aggressive deck. Juza started with the first of this three Tormented Heroes and Takahashi forced to "cycle" Chosen by Heliod on it, turning it into a 2/3 in the proceess.

Takahashi managed to put together Voyaging Satyr and Chronicler of Heroes but Juza went one step further and enhanced the hero with Ordeal of Erebos.

When Takahashi tried to trade, Juza was ready with Boon of Erebos. Hero's Downfall put the final nail in the coffin when Juza denied him of his 4th mana, while sacrificing the Ordeal to "Mind Rot" Yuuta Takahashi.

Hero's Downfall

In this case, Takahashi's Downfall...

Martin Juza 2 – Yuuta Takahashi 0

Martin Juza defeats Yuuta Takahashi to advance to the finals, where he will play Shuhei Nakamura!

Semifinals - Shuhei Nakamura vs. Ken Yukuhiro

by Noel Neo
Horizon Chimera

With Ken's plenitude of bomb rares, Shuhei knows he has to close out the game before they can come online. Hence, from being the defender in the previous match against Yu Sheng, Shuhei now has to morph into the aggressor.

And morph he did. Feral Invocation on Horizon Chimera allowed Shuhei to take game one in four attacks with Ken not drawing the removal he needed to interact with the flyer.

Game two was more of the same, as Prescient Chimera and Coastline Chimera bestowed with Leafcrown Dryad formed Shuhei's Air Force One. Ken's Gray Merchant of Asphodel was aptly countered by Stymied Hopes and Hythonia the Cruel appeared too late to make a difference.

(7) Shuhei Nakamura wins 2-0 and is a Grand Prix Hong Kong finalist!

Finals - Shuhei Nakamura vs. Martin Juza

by Chapman Sim & Noel Neo

Game One

Juza had to mulligan but at least he was able to apply pressure with Fleshmad Steed and Observant Alseid. When Nakamura presented Crackling Triton to block, Juza was ready with Boon of Erebos. Griptide returned Fleshmad Steed to the top of Juza's deck, buying him a little time to resolve not one, not two but THREE Prescient Chimeras.

Triple threat!

Juza did manage to kill one with the help of a second Boon of Erebos but when Nakamura threw out Sedge Scorpion and Voyaging Satyr to stall up the ground, it seemed that Juza was at the end of his line.

Juza could only offer up Keepsake Gordon and Insatiable Harpy, none of which were reliable ways to stabilize the board within the next two turns. Juza did have Scholar of Athreos to stay alive for another turn, but Nakamura revealed Feral Invocation from his hand for exactly lethal damage.

Shuhei Nakamura 1 – Martin Juza 0

Game Two


Juza busted out of the gates with Tormented Hero and Fleshmad Steed while Nakamura threw down Leafcrown Dryad to block, passing his third turn. When he flung Feral Invation on the 2/2 and blocked, Juza reversed the situation with Boon of Erebos.

Erebos's Emissary soon joined the board and it seemed like Nakamura was the victim of a terrible draw, seeing how he had failed to cast anything even by turn five, other than bouncing some of Juza's creatures with Voyage's End and Griptide.

Martin Juza delivering the beatdown.

After relieving himself of the pressure, Nakamura proceeded to resolve a trio of his Prescient Chimera, but Juza tried to keep up the pressure by bestowing the bounced Erebos's Emissary. Hanging at just one life, Nakamura was unable to attack, preferring to flood the board with a couple more blockers just to be safe.

Juza's Scholar of Athreos was not about to let that happen.

Shuhei Nakamura 0 – Martin Juza 1

The two extremely fast decks traded blows right out the door.

Nakamura's Sedge Scorpion and Agent of Horizons bestowed with Feral Invocation raced with Tormented Hero, Calvary Pegasus and twin Blood-Toll Harpy to tie life totals at 11 each by the end of turn four.

Nakamura's Coastline Chimera then came down as an effective wall while Juza summoned Insatiable Harpy. The next time Agent of Horizons attacked, all creatures save Insatiable Harpy tried to take him out but Nakamura had Triton Tactics for the one-sided wipe.

Agent of Horizons
Feral Invocation
A killer combo, good enough to take down a Grand Prix!

Juza tried to keep in the game with Erebos's Emissary on Insatiable Harpy, but a pair of Prescient Chimera prevented him from effectively attacking and a second Feral Invocation on the unblockable agent allowed Nakamura to take the game.

Shuhei Nakamura is the Grand Prix Hong Kong 2013 Champion!

Top 5 Cards of GP Hong Kong

by Chapman Sim & Noel Neo
Elspeth, Sun’s Champion

1. Elspeth, Sun's Champion

Voted the card most wished for by the Pros, Elspeth is the planeswalker you either take down quickly or are overwhelmed by. Best known in Limited for her ability to generate soldiers, the entire round 9 match between Shuhei Nakamura and Li Bo hinged on who could get Elspeth to stick. And that hasn't even included a consideration of her ability to destroy creatures power 4 or greater, which Shouta Yasooka used to great effect against Shuhei in round 11, or the admittedly rarely used Glorious Anthem on steroids.

Prescient Chimera

2. Prescient Chimera

A 3/3 flyer in Blue has always been a pretty high draft pick and Prescient Chimera trumps that on all counts. The additional point of toughness matters in a format with Lightning Strike and the conditional scry ability is pure gravy. More than simply looking at the top card of your library, the ability to sort what is likely to be excess lands and unneeded cards to the bottom of your library provides 'virtual card advantage'. Just ask Shuhei Nakamura, whose Grand Prix winning deck included three copies of the Chimera that featured in each of his winning matches.

Reaper of the Wilds

3. Reaper of the Wilds

A 4/5 body for 2BG, scry, death touch and hexproof; what's not to like? It works especially well in the archetype defined by its colours – providing an early wall against attacks, improving your card quality over the game of attrition and finally providing a hexproof body for creature enhancers to close the game. Reaper enabled Taku Matsumura to stall against Yuuya Watanabe's RG beatdown deck long enough for him to assume the lead in round 10 and in round 3 provided Andrew Cantilla with an untargetable body against a Blue deck.

Time to Feed

4. Time to Feed

A three mana removal spell in Green, the fight effect is especially strong in Theros Limited because of such heroic cards as Centaur Battlemaster and Staunch-Hearted Warrior. In round 10 Yuuya Watanabe's Battlemaster was able to take out Pharika's Mender and Vulpine Goliath, growing to 9/9 in the process, thanks to Time to Feed and Chen Liang used it to defeat Antti Malin in round 6.

Lightning Strike

5. Lightning Strike

There are a number of removal spells in Theros but none are as efficient or versatile as Lightning Strike. While it can't deal with large creatures like Sip of Hemlock or Lash of the Whip, its low cost enables it to quickly trade up for many of Theros's scariest creatures. This efficiency makes it such a coveted asset that many pros single it out as the best common of the set, even going as far as splashing Red simply to run copies of the instant.

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